THE trial of a son accused of shooting dead his elderly parents has heard harrowing details of their last moments.
Stephen Seddon, of Benvente Street, Seaham, is alleged to have blasted to death his 68-year-old dad Robert Seddon, and mum Patricia Seddon, 65, at their home at Clough Avenue, Sale, because he wanted to speed up his £230,000 inheritance.
The jury in his Manchester Crown Court trial heard that his mother may have tried to fend off her killer – and that it was “not possible” his father had shot himself, even though the murder weapon was found in his lap.
Forensic pathologist Dr Philip Lumb told the court that Mrs Seddon, found in the hallway, suffered a “gaping” gunshot injury after being shot in the back of the head and that her death would have been “immediate”.
“Soot staining was present on this lady’s right hand, potentially from holding the weapon. There were injuries on the right and left upper arms with a number of potential causes,” he added.
The sawn-off shotgun used in the killings was found in Robert Seddon’s lap with his right hand on it. His body was found on the sofa in the living room.
Dr Lumb told the court that Robert Seddon died after suffering a “severe injury” to the base of the neck, with the shot fired downwards at him.
Death would have been “very rapid”.
Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, asked Dr Lumb if Robert Seddon’s injury had been caused by a “third party” or was “self-inflicted”.
Dr Lumb said there was “no pathological evidence” the shot had been fired at close range, that ballistics evidence measured the distance of the weapon at 1.5m, and that after measuring Robert Seddon’s arms, he concluded it was “not possible that he shot himself”.
Stephen Seddon is alleged to have killed his parents on July 4, two days before the bodies were found, after travelling to Manchester from Seaham in a car he borrowed from his brother-in-law and neighbour, Robert Stockton.
Stephen Seddon, 46, denies two charges of murder and two charges of attempted murder.